I’m on vacation through May 13th and will be re-posting some of my more popular columns in the meantime. This one was originally published on The Frisky on March 2, 2011.
I’m 22 years old and my fiancé is 25. We are supposed to get married this October, but I’m having second thoughts. We’ve been together for over five years and were neighbors growing up. We both dropped out of college, but I have always held down a full-time job, whereas he got laid off and spent a whole year unemployed. I feel like I have a lot of resentment towards him because he had no excuse to not find a job. He didn’t have the ‘drive’ or ‘ambition’ that I wanted him to have. Since last June, he’s been a truck driver, a job that requires him to be gone sometimes a week at a time or longer with only one or two days home. Also, he still lives at home, and the thought of him being so dependent on his parents bothers me.
A little over two years ago, he was really wanting to get married, but I kept telling him I wanted to wait until I was at least 21 so I could legally drink at our wedding. I think I was just making an excuse. He proposed after I turned 21, and some days I’m so happy to be engaged to him and some days I’m not. In addition to our other issues, our sex life is not okay. He always wants to have sex and I hardly ever do. I don’t really know why I don’t because he isn’t bad, but I just feel like I’m not attracted to him anymore. He is the only relationship I have ever been in and I don’t want to lose him but I don’t want to ‘settle’ either. I want to talk to him about it but I don’t want to hurt him. I guess now that we’re paying down payments for venues, buying a wedding gown and setting up classes with my pastor, getting married is hitting me. I don’t want to be a divorce statistic. — Cold Feet
Don’t marry this guy. You aren’t in love with him. If anything is clear in your letter, it’s that. You are not in love with this guy. And you know what? You’ll be fine without him. As long as you’ve been together, it must be scary to think about not being with him anymore, but as much time as you spend on your own, you have to know you’ll be okay by yourself. And, eventually, you’ll find someone new if that’s what you want. But please think very, very carefully about what kind of future you’re going to have with this man if you don’t leave him. You aren’t even happy in your present. How do you think you’re future is going to play out? If he’s so dependent on his parents now, he’s just going to be dependent on you in the future. Do you want to be financially responsible for him the next time he gets laid off and decides he’ll take his sweet time finding a new job? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with a man you aren’t in love with just because he’s been in your life so long? There needs to be more. Don’t get married when you’re already worried about being a divorce statistic. Divorce should be the last thing on a person’s mind when she’s planning a wedding. Don’t do it. October is still a long way away. You have plenty of time to gracefully bow out of your wedding now, explain to your fiancé that you’ll always care for him, but you just aren’t in love with him anymore and can’t marry him, and start building a life of your own. You owe it to yourself to keep an option of a happy future open. Don’t settle for less than happiness.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.